To deck or not to deck…

Which outdoor room style do you prefer?

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We had our hearts set on a beautiful Merbau deck for our outdoor room – at least until we came across an article in a recent Better Homes & Garden magazine.

Merbau is a very oily and very durable hardwood that is particularly resistant to termites. No wonder why it has become the wood of choice for decking and outdoor building. What keeps us from committing 100% to the decking is the cost ( around $350/sqm) and ongoing maintenance. We really do love the look, but the ongoing maintenance may prove to be an issue. And oh, by the way, we’ve got a dog, and likely another once we move in. I don’t know how well the wood will stand up with these guys racing across it. But what really threw us for a loop was an idea we saw in Better Homes & Gardens.

Decking OptionPavers are simple, generally easy to maintain, and relatively inexpensive. When designing the new home we thought we’d go with decking for sure. We still will have the front porch decked in the entry way, but our thoughts may have changed for the backyard. We’re now thinking of paving with dark grey pavers (matching our roof and step stones around the side of the house) and framing them with Merbau slats.

But what look do you like? Vote now for the style you like best. We need help!

About Stefan
Stefan is the regular writer for Megan & Stefan, and hails originally from San Diego, California. A resident of Australia since 2007, he write about his experiences living abroad, his love of photography, and documenting the process of building a house here in this sunburnt country he calls home. Feel free to drop him a line - he's always up for a chat.


  1. maja says:

    I vote for the wood. But what do you mean when you say “GUYS” racing on the wood???

  2. Stefan says:

    Well, we’re likely to have a 2nd dog by then, right? :)

  3. Kriss says:

    Having had a wood deck ourselves, the maintenance is an issue, but actually not as bad as I expected (but maybe that is because Arthur did all the work!). But, we have had pavers too, and they are easy and I think just as pretty, but you do have to weed pavers actually. We had this one cute flower, many would call a weed, growing between our pavers for years. One day, we tried to transplant it in a happy soil pot, but apparently, it enjoyed “roughing” it because it died shortly after. =(
    Anyhow, I voted for the pavers. =) Kriss

  4. Kate says:

    I voted pavers…the wood is beautiful, but deck maintenance can be a pain…Between refinishing, sanding, replacing boards, etc., and it seems kind of pricey.
    But, I’m not familiar with the material and how it holds up in your part of the world.
    Also, the downsides to pavers, as Kriss mentioned, they have to be weeded, and the heat. Bare feet on pavers can be terrible.
    So, I think I’ve changed my mind…wood deck. Final answer.
    : )

  5. Alison says:

    I like the look of both timber and paving so I’m sitting on the fence aesthetically. However having lived with a large deck in a previous home the regular maintenance can be tedious. Also decks can get very slippery. I think once you’ve decided what you want and have it in place you will forget about the alternative.

  6. JT says:

    I also vote for building a fence

  7. Sarah says:

    Ummmm…. it’s a tough one. We’ve been through lots of Metricon display homes including lots in Queensland and the decks just look amazing. We’re in the process of making the same decision. We have a builder friend who will be able to install the deck a lot cheaper than retail so that will cut out a lot of the cost for us, however I am scared they won’t have that lovely look they do in the show homes due to having 3 young kids, a dog, 2 cats and 2 busy parents (us) running over them. Good idea for a post on my blog – I’ll now try to get some feedback on how they look when you actually live on them.

  8. andrew says:

    The wood looks beautiful, but if maintenance is an issue for you I would go for the pavers, it really depends if you have a lot of time or not

  9. Marlon says:


    We love the decking too and we agree with cost factor and ongoing maintenance (Great for display homes may be an issue for a young family with pets)

    I think the pavers with Slats framed is the way to go .. you can also look at a natural stone or Concrete polished (they have some great finishes)



  1. […] this year, we came home with our Christmas gifts early. If you remember the previous post about the Outdoor Room, we were having trouble deciding what to do in terms of whether we’d deck or not. I think […]

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